What first started the need for a guitar in your life?

Joe Hurtado

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The Beatles. My 1/2 sister introduced me to them when I was 6. The first time she sat me down and played me a bunch of their records, I remember clearly that when she played Revolution for me I immediately asked what was making that chainsaw sound. “It’s an electric guitar and nothing is more rock and roll than that.”

It took 4 years of begging and pleading before my parents caved in. It was a crappy Hondo acoustic and it came with a Mel Bay book, a pitch pipe, and the phone number of a girl named Audrey written in ink on the inside of the case. I wasn’t a natural musician, I’m still not actually, but I really struggled but I was too stubborn & stupid to stop. My mom got really upset when she saw how torn up and bloody my fingertips got at one point. She didn’t think I should keep playing but like I said, stubborn & stupid. When I could play La Bamba all the way through for the first time I knew it was worth the pain.
 

GT40

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I was a late starter. Leading up to my 40th birthday it was becoming increasingly apparent that the injuries I picked up playing rugby, martial arts, mountain biking, and a couple of car crashes meant I had to stop most of that nonsense.
I hate golf and needed something to do for my mid-life crisis, so as not to drive my family nuts by loitering around the house with nothing to do. So I figured I'd learn guitar.
A friend in the music industry helped my wife spec out a guitar and Fender made it in time for my 40th. 6 weeks later I played my first open mic.

Truth be told, I was never, and am still not, particularly interested in classic rock/guitar music, and don't really listen to it. But I do like punk and a lot of modern music and enjoy figuring out solo arrangements of songs I like, to perform myself.

Ten years on, I still have the Fender and now two Les Pauls to mess around with. And it seems to have inspired my daughter who is now a professional musician.
 
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Oranjeaap

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I was taking piano lessons, two years in and I didn't really progress. I listened to a wild variety of music, but one instrument they all had in common was the electric guitar.
Final summer of highschool I made my own CD, it was mostly Hendrix, CCR and Santana. My mother was driving me somewhere in the middle of nowhere, empty roads, widows wide open because it was a very hot day. A CCR tune started playing and my mother turned up the volume way high. I was surprised because I didn't know she liked that kinda music, and also surprised because she would never play loud music in a car, especially not with the windows open. Well, it got even weirder because she started singing along with the CCR song, I was like "who is this woman and what did she do with my mother?"
My mother was equally surprised when I said it wasn't the radio, but a CD i put some music on myself. She was frowning and I believe she was thinking something like "is this little shit pranking me or is he really listening to the same music I was at that age?"
CCR song fades out... 'All along the watch tower' starts playing. Now it was my turn to turn the volume even louder. It was already one of my favourite songs, but I don't think I ever heard it played this loud before. I was shocked. Goosebumps.
The not so ideal sonic properties of a car stereo system combined with driving with the windows open on a very hot day, some other songs might lose their magic, but 'all along the watchtower' sounded better than ever before.
Anyway, that same week I walked into my local guitar store and bought my first guitar. A cheap Ibanez, typical pointy super strat style. I still have it. And why not? It's my first guitar, it's a worthless guitar for every other person in the world, but for me its priceless.
 

Deftone

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Not sure what inspired it but my 1st guitar was a badminton racket.

Around age 12 I got a POS Mustang copy that was in two pieces in a trade from a friend. Been buying, selling and trading them ever since.
 

musicmaniac

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These went into my earholes as a kid:

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OIP.RXVLM2_QoyZ7rBA3bjc9GgHaHa

Rdb2fbf50f1893c147751a7a58b0d4779

Rf24c734e053ac794ec005008cac25e8e

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An when I realized it was possible to have your own guitar and attempt to make the glorious noises I was hearing I became obsessed with having one and learning to play. Got my first guitar in 1976. Got my first "real" guitar in 1977. Been a lifelong obsession I guess you could say.
This...... except one thing Michael Schenker!
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Findthetone

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When I was in the 7th grade I had friends playing and putting bands together so I'm sure that was an influence. But the spark that lit the fuse was getting the Def Leppard High 'n' Dry LP for Christmas that year. Once I heard it it was all over.
 

jaycoyoyo

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I was 15 or 16 when I first watched Zeppelin the Song Remains the Same DVD. I bought a cheap Epiphone LP shortly after that.

-Jay
 

brianbzed

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My love affair with the guitar started like this:
Back in the day when I was about 6 years old a boy in the suburb where I lived had been bought a black Strat as compensation for having undergone some horrible operation, which had left his chest badly scarred. I was blown away by the fact that if you connected this thing of beauty into the mains power you could sound like The Who, The Beatles or The Rolling Stones; well at least that is what the 6-year-old me thought it was for; oblivious to the fact that none of the above used Stats. I was totally electric guitar smitten.

Later in my early teens my mother bought me a catalogue acoustic, which had a pickup and came with a lead which I could plug into the family's radiogram; life was good, and I dreamed of a life on stage. An older friend of mine, who owned a blue Strat, a Selmer amp, and a van, had rented a church hall for us to practice in and at this point I was convinced that we were headed for rock’n’roll fame. We were going to be called the Larrytones; his name was Larry and mine was, and still is, Tony. However, shortly afterwards he got married and fathered a child, not necessarily in that order. My road to becoming a rock god ended up in a cul-de-sac. I blame it all on the blond hippie babe with the large, untethered breasts who gave birth to Larry’s daughter.

Later at age 18 I bought a Les Paul copy, which I believed in my ignorance was indistinguishable from the real thing; it was plywood, but I thought it was the dog’s appendage banging out the Stones’ Satisfaction on it. Aged 21 marriage and a mortgage came along, and guitars and impending rock stardom did not seem to feature in my life anymore, nor going to concerts and generally having fun living the full post-hippie sex, drugs and rock’n’roll lifestyle I had hoped for. Worse, sometime during those 5 wasted years of wedlock I lost the Les Paul copy and the cheap catalogue electro acoustic. I had money, a nice car, and a good job but no guitar, and a wife who did not share my values; she once told me that I could not play Zappa’s Zoot Allures in her company as it was obscene. The Torture Never Stops with background gasps and screams provided by Frank’s wife on that album seemed to cause my wife extreme distress.

At age 27 I reasoned that the financially ruinous cost of divorce was in fact a bargain in exchange for liberation and sanity and although impoverished by my decision pretty soon I found a wonderful music loving lady who shared my free spirited and hedonistic view of life, and although she was not a Zappa fan, she had no problem with my love of the guitar genius that was Frank. She was a Roxy Music fan, as was I, and we both loved Donovan’s Cosmic Wheels, so we were always destined to be as one. Some many years later she bought us tickets to see Zappa Plays Zappa with Steve Vai at the Royal Albert Hall, one of the greatest concerts I have ever attended, and even though she wasn’t a Zappa fan she admitted she now understood my love of Frank.

In the early to mid-80s, I managed to persuade a pawn shop owner I had befriended in Cardiff to let me buy a real Gibson “The Paul” together with a 100-watt HH Head and a Marshall 4x12 for the incredible sum of £120.00, which I paid off at the rate of £20 a week; yes, in the mid-80s you could buy stuff like that in pawn shops that cheap; I loved that guitar.

Now over 30 years later, no longer impoverished and still with the same music loving lady I now have several Gibsons, Strats, Teles, a beautiful PRS Custom 24 and a Steve Vai Jem. I no longer have the “The Paul” having part exchanged it for my first real Les Paul, a Joe Perry Signature in black burst; I still miss that guitar to this day. I am still a totally crap guitarist but since I gave up pretty much all illegal recreational highs my favourite drug is taken at least once a day through my Mesa Boogie; life is good
I figured out early, that being a musician was a good way to get chicks. I played piano, trumpet and drums, but the guitar was more portable and best suited for rock n roll. Got a 2nd hand Teisco ( Kent 4-pickups ) when I was 15...been playing ever since!
 

Musha Ring

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I was 8 years old and had just started the third grade at a new school. Two months before, my folks split up and my Mom and I moved to a new town.

I had no friends and I spent the morning before first bell crying. At lunch a kid with bright red hair was sitting on a picnic table playing a small classical guitar. He was singing a song about a guy named Sergeant Peppers and it made me laugh so I told him I liked it. He said thanks and asked if I know who The Beatles are. I said no.

That night my new friend made me a mixed tape of Sgt. Peppers on one side and the White Album on the other. Three months later my Mom got me the Sears classical guitar I'd asked for for Christmas.

No longer have that guitar, but I have the mixed tape around here somewhere.
 

redking

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This guy (even though I can't play a single lick like him)
1623883836049.png

I also remember going to the local Mom & Pop music store as a kid in the 80's and seeing the bright colored Japanese import guitars hanging on the rack with early attempts at double locking tremolos - I wanted one so bad (Vantage, Westone, etc.)
 

Freddy G

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I played accordion starting at age 5. At that age I wasn't exposed to pop music. Only traditional Slovenian waltzes, polkas and folk music.
Yeah...go ahead and laugh!
But I actually liked it. I liked music but I had a hard ass teacher....an old German fellow. I learned to read, learned theory and even played in his ensemble of students. I took lessons once a week for 7 years....in a musty little music store in town that sold accordions, clarinets, trumpets....and even drums. Oh how I eyeballed those drums every time I went in to that store. By the time I was 9 or 10 I was listening to AM radio all the time...top 40. Then I heard Kiss and soon after Rush. I lost all interest in the accordion.

When I was about 12 my dad took me to another music store on the other side of town...the "Purple Palace".
It was the polar opposite. Amps everywhere. New and used. Guitars piled high and hanging on the walls. Guys with long hair trying out guitars and amps cranked up.....things I had never heard before. The place was filled with a funny smelling smoke.
My eyes must have been popping out of my head....that's when I knew. I had to play guitar. Old man Al was the owner....wheeler dealer. Everything was cash sales. My first guitar was a used Melody Maker and I got a used amp. Never looked back.
 
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El Pablo

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I can't remember anytime of my life when I didn't want to play. Listening to my parents Beatles, Paul Revere and the Raiders, ELO and Roy Orbison albums got me off to a very early appreciation of music.

That said, 10 seconds into hearing Eruption changed my life forever. I was mesmerized. Within months I was able to aquire a cheep beginners guitar. By the time SRV came out, I was hitting my stride. I saw him perform Voodoo Chile live and my commitment went next level.

Unlike many, it has never been about girls or performing for others. It's a personal escape that I'm addicted to.
 

MP4-22

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In 6th grade my teacher showed us a video documentary of his late brother who was a luthier... i think he was pretty talented. It inspired me and i wanted to build guitars... never built one or anything but i decided to buy one with money i had saved up.... I went into sam ash at about 12 yrs old and asked the guy what i could get for my money and he set me up with a black washburn strat copy and a gorilla amp.

This was my teachers late brother whose documentary inspired me.

 

Uncle Vinnie

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Can any of you guys actually do this?

I tried it once and the #1 E string sliced open the top of my thumb like a veal cutlet. I bled like a stuck pig for three days.

ETA: This is such a cool thread. Love the stories. Keep 'em coming.
 

rjwilson37

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My brother played the snare drum in band at school and of course eventually got a drum set. One day he came home with a cheap amp and guitar that he traded some stereo equipment for, gave it to me and said you need to learn to play. I am thinking I was around 12-13 years old. The rest is history. haha I eventually got a Hondo II Les Paul Copy, it was really nice and a huge step up from the junker I played for a couple of years. Wine red shiny and new, it was a ting of beauty.
 

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